Finding the "Perfect" Wedding Dress

I thought that finding the perfect wedding dress is going to be easy. Boy, was I wrong. Like any other engaged woman, I started looking at Pinterest for inspiration. I even started pinning styles that speaks to me on my virtual board. I’m looking for a clean and minimalist wedding dress to fit our venue. No A-line ball gowns for this woman. I also have this notion that I won’t be having a dress custom made or tailored. With a little over two months left (yes, what was I even thinking during this time) before the wedding, I want something ready to wear.

My first foray to Divisoria was a disaster. I guess I have such high expectations and I was utterly disappointed. Together with my trusty girlfriends, we woke up and met at the crack of dawn to travel to Divi. By seven in the morning, we are wandering aimlessly in Divisoria. Little did I know that shops would open around nine in the morning, and that they would actually shoo you away when you wander in when they are still in the middle of sweeping and opening up. We killed time at Starbucks and by 10 in the morning, we are back. It’s go-time!

I checked every stall that piques my interest. I would nonchalantly ask for a price and poorly hide my astonishment on how much a wedding gown costs. I have a vague idea on how expensive a wedding gown is but I just cannot seem to justify spending that amount of money for a dress I will only be wearing for a day. So I moved on from one stall to another. There were the occasional rude and haughty shopkeepers who wouldn’t give you the time of day thinking that you cannot afford their wares.

Anne: Ate, magkano po eto? (Miss, how much is this?)
Shopkeeper: *Looks at me from head to toe* 30,000 then she laughs nervously (or was it mockingly)

Divisoria was a bust. I was tired and all the wedding gowns that I’ve seen where either fully beaded or with lots of tulle. There was a lack of simple and minimalist gowns (or maybe I don’t know where to look). With a month to go before the wedding, panic is setting in. I took my chance at malls and department stores but nothing really stands out. By this time (two weeks left), I zeroed in on Zoo Clothing.

About the Brand

From selling party wear and statement-making pieces back in 2009, ZOO now develops to be a more feminine and classic brand with pieces focusing on affordable luxury and more sophisticated casual and evening wear. ZOO aims to be the go-to-brand for occasion wear dresses – celebrating with women’s momentous occasions- whether it’s her birthday, wedding day, or a first date.

ZOO Founder Kat Zulueta, fully embodies the essence of the brand. Having developed the brand from its beginnings in party wear into sophisticated and more refined ready-to-wear and quick custom, Kat has truly grown with the brand.

We believe in every woman’s endless capability to  feel empowered and we hope that our clothing will help them embrace their own strength and individuality.

We hope that through the pieces we create, we get to touch women’s lives and help them build wonderful memories along the way.

With the husband in tow, we went to ZOO’s physical store in Mandaluyong. I already have two gowns in my shortlist. I could have it made according to my size and it won’t cost me a pretty penny.

You can pick the style you want, choose a size (XS - Large) or opt to have it custom-sized for a minimal fee. They will have this ready for you in six to eight business days. I chose the Hillary and they took my measurements. Take note that it’s about two weeks left before the big day and I’m praying that they will have the sizing correct since I won’t have any time to have it altered.

Left: HILLARY Pointed Tube Dress with Flounce Hem (P2990)
Right: CAROLINA Sweetheart Cut Long Gown with Train (P3990)
Photos from Zoo’s website.

When the dress is ready, you can pick it up in store so that they can do alterations if needed (that’s an additional three to five business days). I decided to forego this and have the dress delivered via Lalamove. Moment of truth, I tried it on and the bust area is so big. I don’t have time to have this altered so I just made do with what I have.

It would have worked well if I have done this earlier so I would still have time to have it altered to fit. Nonetheless, I love my wedding dress. It was simple and minimalist. The fabric is thick. The design is elegant. Except for the loose fit, it turned out pretty well. Here are some photos of the dress with the occasional tugs in between the program.

I think that everything turned out well. I was happy with my dress and I didn’t spend a fortune on it. Now, come to think of it, it has been months and I haven’t dry cleaned it yet. Ooops. Adding that my to do list.

How about you? Where did you find your wedding dress?

Photos taken by Choi Alcabasa of Choi Alcabasa Photography